OPG awards $600MM Darlington nuclear station refurbishment contract

Source: Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) has taken another step toward the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear power station. 

OPG has awarded a two-phase contract to plan for and then replace major components of the four reactors at Darlington. The contract for more than $600 million to a joint venture of SNC-Lavalin Nuclear Inc. and Aecon Construction Group Inc. is one of several that will be awarded for the refurbishment of the facility. 

The first phase of the project will involve planning for the removal and replacement of the 480 pressure tubes and calandria tubes, and 960 feeder pipes for each of the station’s four reactors. The second phase would involve the execution of the plan. 

“This is a significant step for our refurbishment project,” said Albert Sweetnam, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Projects. “The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station currently powers one out of every five homes in Ontario and is an important part of the energy mix in the province. The refurbishment project will generate more than 6,000 direct and indirect jobs and local spin off benefits in Durham Region and across Ontario. After refurbishment the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station will continue to provide safe, clean, reliable base load electricity for the next 25 to 30 years.” 

This is the first of a number of contracts that will be awarded for the refurbishment which involves the replacement of reactor components and maintenance of station systems that have reached the end of their planned lifespan. 

This refurbishment is part of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan. Nuclear energy is an important component of the province’s power supply, accounting for roughly half of its baseload power, and it is one of the cleanest and cheapest forms of baseload energy available. The nuclear sector has contributed a great deal to Ontario’s economy over the last 40 years, and modernizing the nuclear fleet is an important part of rebuilding the province’s energy infrastructure.

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